On Saturday 4th March, a first year Lancaster student will be hosting a book launch and open-mic for his debut novel, Ese: The Misadventures Of Moving Forward, at the Gregson Centre (6pm).
Emoefeoghene Akpofure Imoyin-Omene, (“but if you’re cool, you can call me Efe”), is a 19-year old British-Nigerian writer and poet. At 17, he was selected for The National Centre for Writing’s ‘Lit From The Inside’ programme. Following a zine publication, Efe is also a journalist and essayist with his fiction and non-fiction writings published by Left Brain Media, The Diaspora Project, The Chritical Magazine, Aurum Journal, Young Poet Stories, and more.
Ese: The Misadventures Of Moving Forward was written during the pandemic when Efe used writing to escape from a “cold and confusing world”. The novel takes the perspective of an unconventional protagonist and their found-family of diverse characters, exploring the complexities of adolescence. He describes his debut novel as a socially conscious YA romance with comedic twists and turns.
When asked what inspired him to start his novel, Efe stated: “definitely my life experiences and wanting to create the representation I so deeply crave/craved […] The moment you finally see your reflection look back at you, it feels like a fractured mirror has been mended, like years of pain gone way in a single day.
Many things have influenced Efe’s writing ever since he fell in love with the craft of writing. Some of these include music artists such as Janet Jackson and Chlöe. “Even though I read the greats like the Shakespeare’s, Wordsworth’s, and Dickinson’s, a lot of my inspiration comes from musical artists. I wrote two whole poems a couple days ago based on snippets of songs I heard on TikTok. Chlöe could write Twelfth Night but could William write Have Mercy?”
“Because I love music, I think of my books and anthologies like albums or eps, each song or section guiding you through an experience. Every chapter bleeds into the next like an expertly crafted interlude or the transition, I sometimes felt ashamed to say my inspirations out loud because they weren’t typical or traditional but neither am I and neither is my work.”
Writers such as Celeste Ng and Bolu Babaoloa have also had a sway on Efe’s writing. One day, he “hope[s] to one day join my good sis and my other Naja brethren in the illustrious canon of Pop Culture obsessed Millennial/ Gen Z Nigerian writers,” states Efe.
Efe is happy to be published so young but is even more excited for the future. He expresses the internal struggle of the writer as he states: “I probably won’t feel like I’ve fully made it until I get on The Sunday and New York Times bestseller lists and win a Pulitzer prize […]
“Sometimes I get annoyed, waiting for the moment my whole life changes and writing becomes it. But right now, I’m vibing with this gradual build-up”’.
For other writers, he has one main piece of advice: “Always write. In a funk? Write. Mad? Write. Heartbroken? Write. Confused? Write. It is such a freeing outlet and the more you write, the stronger you’ll get in your craft.”
Alongside this, he advises finding a writing community, sharing your work with as many people as possible, and saving all the work you do, including “the good, the bad, and even the incomplete. I enter competitions and awards and it’s always nice to have a rotation of work to call on and publish.”
In the future, Efe plans on publishing his second anthology, So Sweet It Sings. “I’ve been tweaking it since October and sections of it will be in my Creative Writing portfolio for first year. I’m loving the feedback I’m getting because it’s helping me become a better writer every day, “I’m gonna lose my mind when it finally comes out. It’s everything I am as a writer right now. Romantic and unhinged. Silly and serious. Topical and transcendental”
Efe is a young writer with an incredibly bright future ahead of him and we at SCAN cannot wait to see how much he’ll continue to achieve. His linktree can be accessed here.